Every week, we at Highsnobiety take some time to highlight one of our favorite brands through our BOTW (Brand of the Week) series. Last week, we featured on Dries Van Noten and his eponymous brand. This week, we’ve decided to shine a light on French label Jacquemus.
Rural France isn’t the first place you’d look for high-end fashion output, but it was the French sticks to which Simon Porte Jacquemus was born and raised. It was a bumpy start — Jacquemus lost his mother as a teenager and later dropped out of fashion school — but determined to try and make a name for himself, he began working at the COMME des GARÇONS store in Paris, saving as much as he could.
Once able to, he used his savings to invest in his womenswear brand under the name Jacquemus, a homage to the designer’s late mother. Only 19 years of age, it was 2009 that he both launched the label and staged a pop-up outside Dior’s Tuileries Garden show at Paris Fashion Week, demanding the fashion world’s attention. One year later, he was the subject of a spread in Vogue.
Known for his minimal designs, Jacquemus likes to describe himself as naïve. His fashion shows often take place at games arcades or swimming pools, a nod to his Southern France upbringing. “To be naïve is important when you start your own brand, because you believe in everything and you’re not afraid to ask,” he told WWD back in 2016. “I was really not afraid to ask and to force people to look at my work.”
The young designer quickly gained the support of key industry figures such as Rei Kawakubo and even won the Special Jury Prize at 2016’s LVMH Awards, bringing home €150,000 (approx. $174,000) alongside a year of mentorship.
Naturally, winning the LVMH Special Jury Prize gave Simon’s brand gave him lots of mainstream exposure, and his pieces soon became the favorites of celebrities such as Kendall Jenner, Rihanna, and sisters Beyoncé and Solange Knowles. Minimalist yet eye-catching designs, such as the sold out giant La Bomba straw hat (which can be seen above), can be seen all over Instagram and have covered many a magazine.
Yet, the brand didn’t include menswear until now. Jacquemus announced that he’d finally launch his men’s line last February, at the end of his FW18 runway show, wearing a hoodie saying “New job l’homme Jacquemus”. Inspired by his hometown, Simon worked alongside The Woolmark Company and named his menswear collection “Le Gadjo”. “It’s what Romani men call the other men who are not Romani,” he explained during a recent interview with SSENSE.
And while his label is most definitely on the rise, the same interview shared Jacquemus’ concerns that the men’s line is something of a risk. “But it’s a risk I want to take, and the day I am not able to make something and sell it, then I will stop. And then I will do something else.”
The new menswear launched exclusively at Montreal retailer SSENSE just last week, so those who have appreciated the low-key but quality craftsmanship of his womenswear over the years can now finally shop Jacquemus’ designs. The exclusive pieces include a logo-embroidered T-shirt, white long-sleeve tee, navy hoodie, floral shirt, workwear pants, white and black shorts, and a stylish leather wallet.
Take a closer look at each of the pieces below, and click the button to be one of the first to own a homme Jacquemus piece.
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- Curated by: Nigel Minani